For the past five years or so, I’ve released at least one book per year. Last year’s release was Obey the Darkness: Horror Stories. This was back in February, if I recall correctly. Anyway, since then, I haven’t put out any new books at all. I’ve been writing poems furiously since February of this year, and getting some published at various magazines, but I had no books planned for this year. A few days ago, I decided to go ahead and create a release for 2019. The book, a relatively short one at 35 pages, is called Welcome to Flowerville: Poetry from San Juan Commons. It contains 19 poems I’d written years ago, heavily edited and modernized, of course, as well as photographs of flowers I’d taken from around this adult residence I live in. Even though the general theme of the poems do have something to do with flowers, the book is not actually about that. The flowers were used to inject color, figuratively and literally, to the poems which, themselves, deal with heavier subject matter like loss, betrayal, death, you know, the fun stuff. Lately, my poetry has the ghost of Anne Sexton watching over them. Despite her personal flaws, I do like her work and they are an inspiration for this collection. I guess I’m glad I still have the strength and wherewithal to write and release books. When it comes out maybe I’ll treat myself to a nice lunch from one of the local eateries.
Hi, all. Just a little update. It’s the end of June and, so far, I’ve written about 310 poems since the middle of February, 46 of which have been accepted for publishing in various magazines. For some reason, I’m having bad luck getting the few haikus I’ve written published. I guess that isn’t my forte. Oh, well. You can’t win ’em all.
In other news, just yesterday, I was interviewed by Chris from the local paper, the Port Townsend Leader. He said his article should appear this coming Wednesday or the Wednesday two weeks from now. Pretty cool.
A mixed bipolar episode, for those who don’t know, means the afflicted is suffering from down-in-the-dumps depression along with higher-than-high aspirations at the same time. For the past few months, I’ve wanted nothing more than to jump headfirst into an active volcano and erase all that is Robin from the face of the earth. While thinking that, I also managed to write a book of poems. I still don’t know what I’ll call the collection but I’m hoping it’ll be in print by this summer or fall. I really have in mind one publisher to handle my book, Copper Canyon Press right here in Port Townsend. Their requirement is some of my poems had to have been published by other concerns. I’ve thus taken the liberty of sending out my poems for consideration in the hope that, if I get at least five or ten of them published, Copper Canyon would sign my book. We’ll see.
Wow. It’s been a while since I’ve made an entry on this site. I’m proud to say I’ve maintained this blog, albeit haphazardly, for five years or so. In all that time, I’ve left homelessness and stabilized my life around a sleepy Victorian town (Port Townsend). I have a doctor I see every three or four months, take my pills regularly, eat and drink like a champ, watch movies and TV, and every so often, go for an afternoon constitutional around the block. I wish I still had my car, but oh well. Things change.
I’ve been domiciled for about seven months now so I’m not complaining; I got too old for all this sleeping in the back of the car/wandering the streets nonsense anyway. I go to the local food bank relatively frequently, I’d say about 2-3 times a month. It really helps out since the majority of my SSDI goes to the rent.
So here we have a new near coming up. I have two TV’s – A 55″ Roku and an Android box hooked up via HDMI to the Roku which, in essence, gives me two TV’s. For the past few months I’ve been programming the Android box to where I now get about 10,000 channels. But guess what? Watching TV can still be a bore so I decided to get back into one of my earlier hobbies – writing and recording music. Since I won’t be working with a band, I figure it’d be easier and simpler to just record electronic dance music. So, to that end, I have an electronic keyboard and monitors coming here from Amazon in a few days. And I can’t wait!
Basically speaking, I live in a nursing home. At 56, I’m still the youngest bloke here. I’ve been thrilled to find out that quite a few of my neighbors have reduced hearing because of their advanced age; this bodes well for me and makes it possible, I hope, to build a home recording studio here. Anyway, that’s where I am now. Things aren’t too bad; my health is relatively okay except for my gout-weakened legs. I can’t complain, though. Bombs aren’t flying overhead and there’s no imminent threat of a Pacific tsunami to Port Townsend any time soon. What does 2019 have in store for us? Only time will tell. Stay tuned.
I should be. I’m not fighting in a vicious, endless war somewhere. I’m not in jail or homeless. Physically, I’m relatively okay except for my knees which have been giving me gout pains for months. My rent gets paid every month thanks to the Social Security Administration. I have food in my cupboard thanks to the SSA, food stamps, and the Port Townsend Food Bank. I have a big ass 55″ 4K Smart TV and this laptop which I’ve had for years. I have a bed, a sofa, a microwave oven, a toaster and a vacuum cleaner which I’d gotten from OlyCAP (Olympic Community Action Programs). So, nothing to complain about, right? Then why am I so damned depressed?
I recently got rid of my car which I’d had for five years. As you know, it wasn’t just a car; it was my home as well. Because where I live is a bit of a distance from downtown where all the stores are, I’m dependent on the buses. That isn’t a problem, though, because they do run every hour during the day, none on Sunday. I spend my entire days alone. I’m not exactly isolated, but I’d just rather be by myself. Less angst and turmoil that way.
The anti-depressants and anti-psychotics didn’t work for me. All they did was give me horrible side effects so I had to discontinue them. Meditation is a waste of time because my mind never slows down. It wanders and wanders, always thinking about something. Basically, I can’t concentrate. It seems like the only way for me to sit still and watch a movie is to have a beer or two beneath my belt. Not that I necessarily like drinking, but it does slow me down enough to where I can see a flick all the way through. Hopefully this funk, this dark cloud and doom of despair, won’t last.
It took me all of fifty-five years to get here, but I’m glad I did. Port Townsend is turning out to be quite the villa. It’s quiet, relatively safe, and most importantly, lacking in the drugs I used to abuse years ago. What I’ve been learning to do lately is leave my past behaviors behind. In the past, for instance, I was a generally paranoid person. I locked my windows and doors every time I left the house. Hell, I even kept the windows locked when I was inside the house because I thought someone would climb in during the night when I was sleeping. In Port Townsend, I don’t have to worry about these things. I leave my door unlocked most of the time, even when I’m out of the house like now, and even leave my car doors unlocked. Tonight, when I go to bed, I’m gonna keep all the windows open. This part is still a little nerve wracking to me because I live on the first floor of my apartment complex. If I was on one of the upper floors, that wouldn’t be an issue. Still, I have to get used to having the windows open at night, too, especially these days when it’s pretty hot outside.
I recently indulged myself in a 55″ UHD 4K Roku TV by TCL. The picture is like a giant postcard – clear, bright and ultra colorful. Movies look great on it. Unfortunately, my internet connection is poor so I can’t stream movies as effectively as I’d like. I might get Wave Broadband internet later this year, we’ll see. Right now they have a special for $19.99/month, but after six months, it’ll be $69.99. That’s a little too dear for me considering my rent is $737/month. I mean, I can pay the $69.99/month, but that’s really cutting into my SSDI money which I’d rather save for the future (being unpredictable, as you may know). For now, though, I’m just enjoying being domiciled. I mean, after five long years of homelessness, it’s nice to be able to finally get some well-needed sleep.
After nearly five years of homelessness, I might finally move into a one bedroom apartment in Port Townsend at a retirement complex reserved for those over 62 years old or disabled. This should happen in a month or so to the tune of $950/mo. That’s a bit expensive given I only receive around $1270/mo but the complex does provide tenants with breakfast and dinner as well as all utilities. In the end, it may work out.
I’ve been feeling suicidal lately and it’s why I haven’t written in my blog much. I just want to sleep all day, if I could. Very difficult when you’re homeless, though, especially now when it’s sunny all the time and finding a good, quiet shaded spot is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I’m sleep deprived, and that’s what’s driving my depression. I’m also losing weight, but that’s not a complaint. I want to be lighter and have more energy. If I can reverse my diabetes, good, even if it means me having to stop taking Abilify, the anti-psychotic I’m on that can contribute to both binge eating and problem gambling.
Speaking of problem gambling, I’ve lost quite a few bits of change at two casinos near here – The Point and 7 Cedars. Technically, they’re not near here. The Point is 35 miles away in Kingston and 7 Cedars is 25 miles in Blyn near Sequim. One night, I was so drunk I blacked out in a parking lot in Port Townsend and work up at the Indian Arts Center across the street from 7 Cedars. Talk about unsafe! I don’t remember driving the 25 miles to get there. Obviously, I did it in a complete haze. Very dangerous. I woke up vomiting, looked around, saw a giant Native American sign and thought, “What the hell? There is no place with a sign like this in Port Townsend.” That’s when I realized I wasn’t in PT anymore. Scary. The drink was whiskey, I think. Never again, though. I learned my lesson. I could’ve crashed or hit somebody.
Lastly, on a positive note, I spoke to the local hospital’s financial aid center and they agreed I was poor enough that they would cover my hospital expenses. Sweet. That’s one less worry off my mind, especially since I just spent $200 fixing my car (new battery, cables). Now, if I could only find a quiet place to get some sleep.